"Let's Go" Outings

Social Events for Members:  We seek to keep  LLAIC social life going not only after classes are over, but during the course semesters, with trips near and far.

Volunteers:  Your "Let's Go" Committee is asking for volunteers to step in early and join one of our experienced planners to make it happen.  Or float your own ideas. Trips are fun; planners usually get to do early scouting visits to check out the sites and eating locales. 

If you have other ideas to explore or would like to work with the group to manage an excursion, please contact by email or phone either Joe Bongiardina (978 501-4206) or Joan Schnall (617-378-7714).

Check the latest issue of The Quill for the most recent information. For some past Let's Go outings, click here to peruse the Quill Archive.  To see older past events, some with pictures, go to Events Archive.

"Let's Go" Outings

Outing to Peabody Essex Museum (March 2018)

Some Past "Let's Go" Outings:  Also see Archive

    Friday, April 28, 2017:  Fenway Park Tour
Now is the time for you to think about Stepping Up to the Plate by joining us on Friday, April 28, for a private tour of Fenway Park.  We'll go behind the scenes to dugouts, locker rooms and more. We shall meet at noon at Fenway for our private tour that starts promptly at 12:30.

The tour is handicapped accessible and the cost is $20.00 per person paid in advance. After the tour we shall enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant.

For questions, contact: Joanne Tuck,  jwtuck1@verizon 617 969-5334

Registration is now closed (updated 4/16/17)

    Monday, April 24, 1:00 p.m., 2017:  Spring Planting Tips at Russell's Garden Center

Enjoy a visit to Russell's, Route 20, in Wayland, for a tour and a staff presentation about planting for the season.

You will enjoy browsing Russell's spacious areas of plants, shrubs and trees featuring all the garden and lawn equipment you need, plus a lovely gift shop.  Now is the time to stock up on seedlings and indoor and outdoor flowers. (Discount for WBUR and WGBH members.)

We'll meet at 12:45 at the main entrance off the parking lot in the back for this hour-long event.

To ask questions and RSVP, contact Liz Cabot at lizkcabot@comcast.net or 781-899-1065 (home),  cell for that day: 617-417-3546.

     Wednesday, June 7 - Friday, June 9, 2017:  Portland, Maine  (updated 4/16/17)

Join the "Let's Go Mini Vacation" to Portland, Maine.  We have limited space still available at the Portland Westin Harborview Hotel.   Portland is a big little city with sights to see, museums to visit and wonderful restaurants and charming shops to search. Your Let's Go Team has put together a visit that will take you through the streets of Portland by trolley and on a boat trip that will show you historical Portland from the water.  There will be a scrumptious lobster bake on an island in Casco Bay and a docent tour of the Portland Museum of Art with an optional visit to Winslow Homers Studio on Prouts Neck. 

Lodging at the lovely Portland Westin Harborview Hotel:
New prices: Double or king room is $205.84 without breakfast.
Double or king room is $238.71 with breakfast.
Prices are per night/per room.
Parking available @ $25.00 per night.

We look forward to another great trip with our LLAIC friends. If interested please contact our friendly travel agent and LLAIC member, Irene Ross at 617-522-6100 or rosstravel@aol.com.

    Friday, March 24, 2017:  Vilna Shul and the West End Museum

Join us on Friday, March 24, for a two-part outing to the Vilna Shul and the West End Museum, near Mass General Hospital, with lunch in-between.  The Vilna Shul was the early residence of Boston's black community and later a center for Jewish immigrant communities. It is now a Jewish Cultural Center with a big restoration planned. We will meet at the Shul at 18 Phillips Street, just a few blocks from Cambridge Street and a ten minute walk from the Red Line MGH/Charles stop. After lunch at the Dean's List restaurant in the Wyndham Hotel at the corner of Cambridge and Blossom Streets, we will walk four-tenths of a mile to the West End Museum (up Cambridge Street to Staniford Street). This is a relatively new museum designed to showcase the history of the west end of Boston, before the city took it over for urban renewal. A permanent exhibit, "The Last Tenement", is now housed there. Cost is $10 ($5 for each museum) and does not include the cost of lunch.

Click here for the sign-up form and mail to Ruth Natanson at:
Norwood MA 02062
140 Railroad Avenue  B214

For questions or to sign up, please call or email:  
Ruth Natanson  978-771-7086             Email:   ruth@natanson.net     

Our recommendation is public transportation; details will be sent later.

Note on mobility issues: Besides the 10 minute walk from the Red Line T or government center T stop to each museum, there are some stairs at the Vilna Shul at the entrance and to go up to the second floor. They do not have an elevator.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.:  Islamic Center of Boston, 126 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA

Last year, one of the most well-attended and successful Let's Go visits was to the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland on Rte 20 (across from Temple Shir Tikva).  Based on a suggestion by LLAIC members your Let's Go team contacted the mosque once again and is arranging a follow up visit on February 16.  The program will repeat the format from last year - an orientation to Islam in the morning - and be expanded to the afternoon to include more time for interaction with members of the mosque and more in-depth question and answer periods.  The LLAIC team is still working on the details; the outline is below.


There will be an orientation visit through key areas of the mosque, followed by a series of speakers who will address specific topics, including Muslim religious practices and beliefs, differences and commonalities within Islam and other monotheistic religions, and Muslims and modernity.  There will be Q&A after each presentation and at the end of the session.  This orientation morning includes subjects the mosque finds valuable in its outreach, and our contact has also asked us to provide topics our members want to hear about.



The afternoon will be dedicated to follow up discussions in smaller groups with mosque congregants.  There may also be a short film.  Those attending the morning session are invited to stay. Those who attended last year's session may wish to skip the morning session but attend in the afternoon, so the format will be quite flexible.  All will be welcome.


Lunch will be available for those who wish to stay after the morning session or in advance of the afternoon session.  Members of the mosque will join us for lunch and table talk. We will be able to order and purchase our own lunches through Panera's.   Details of the lunch program are still being worked on and will be communicated separately.

The Islamic Center of Boston,  on Rte 20 in Wayland, has a congregation of about 300 families, and on special days sees about 1000 come to pray.  The Center is a cooperative organization, managed by volunteers (sound familiar?).  Ample parking is available on the location.  Check out the website, particularly the "Outreach" section at  http://www.icbwayland.org/.

    Thursday, January 26, 2017 - Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT.

Join us for the first Let's Go adventure of the new year.  We'll tour the recently renovated Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT.

The Museum
Opened in 1842, it is the oldest public art museum in the United States, and now has more than 50,000 works of art in its collection.  From the start, the Wadsworth Athenaeum has been a leading advocate for, and collector of, American art. The museum's collection is known for its paintings of the Hudson River School, including works by Church and Cole, founders of the movement. It also contains portraits by Copley and still lives by the Peale family, as well as important paintings by Hartley, O'Keefe, and Wyeth. The American sculpture collection features works by Elie Nadelman and Alexander Calder.

European Art at the Wadsworth ranges from medieval to modern. Its collection is particularly strong in Italian Baroque painting, with major examples by Caravaggio and others. There are also famous works by Monet, Renoir, Dali, Miro, Ernst, and Magritte. Its Contemporary collection features works from 1945 to the present, with strong examples of Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Pop art, Conceptual art, and recent movements in painting, sculpture, photography and video. The Wadsworth also exhibits works by Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman and others.
The Visit
We plan to gather at 11:00 when the museum opens. If you arrive later, you may wander on your own until we meet in the Café for lunch. Among the special exhibits is one on "Utamaro and the Lure of Japan" from the Wadsworth's own collection.  At noon, we will gather for lunch at the Museum Café.  Our docent-led tour of the museum's highlights starts at 1:30.
Details and Costs
(More information will be emailed to trip participants.)
Google maps predicts a 1.5 - 2 hour ride from the Boston area.  We suggest you carpool. Parking is $3 per car.  
Costs are very reasonable:  Our admission to the museum is $10.00 each, including the docent tour.  We have arranged a group price for lunch, including a sandwich, side salad or chips, (or a salad with grilled chicken) and beverage for $14, including tax and tip.  Admission and lunch are payable in advance.  Lunch and the tour:  $24.00 per person
To reserve your place, please email Joe Bongiardina with your name(s), email, telephone number, town, and your interest in carpooling (Yes or No).  Because this is relatively long trip, carpool drivers are especially welcome. Your admission/lunch check for $24 per person should be made payable to Nancy Feldman and mailed to her at 27 Rosalie Rd., Newton, MA 02459.   She must receive your check by January 17, or we cannot hold your place.  Payments are non-refundable after January 17 unless we cancel the trip for snow or other inclement weather.

    Friday, October 21 - Athenaeum and Museum of African-American History

Double treat: a visit to the historic downtown Boston Athenaeum on Beacon Hill near the State House followed by a visit to the nearby Museum of African American History. The venerable Boston Athenaeum is one of the oldest libraries in the country and dates back to 1807. We should be there at 9:45 a.m. for a one-hour docent tour at 10:00. After the tour, we can go to view the exhibit of sculptor Daniel Chester French, "The Female Form Revealed". Admission is $5.00.

Lunch: At 11:30 a.m., we cross the street for lunch to the Carrie Nation Restaurant where seating for 24 people is available.

After lunch, we shall walk downhill about 0.3 of a mile to the Museum of African American History where there is a Frederick Douglass exhibit on the second and third floors. Next door is the African Meeting House, the "oldest black church edifice still standing in the US".   Recently restored, its history includes many years as a synagogue. A short, informative talk (15-20 minutes) at the Meeting House will be led at 2:00 p.m. by a National Park Service Ranger. The fee for this will be approximately $3-5, to be determined in early October.

Transportation: Closest parking is the Boston Common garage or public transportation (recommended) to the Park Street MBTA station. It is a five-minute walk from Park Street station to the Athenaeum at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, 12-15 minute walk to the African American Museum at 46 Joy Street. Note: This is Beacon Hill so sidewalks are brick, somewhat uneven with uphill and downhill walking. There are a few steps to enter both museums. They are handicapped accessible inside but the elevator is small at the African American Museum and requires a staff member to operate.

    Friday, November 11 (Veterans Day), 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m: World War II Museum

8 Mercer Road, Natick
Followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant to be announced.

The World War II Museum, Natick, MA, was one of the most popular Let's Go visits last year.   This unique museum houses an amazing, moving, and comprehensive display commemorating World War II.  It was built by the pursuit of a vision of one person, Kenneth W. Rendell, who started out many years ago collecting artifacts, memorabilia, and correspondence relating to that long and horrible war.  Today, this museum is one of the finest of its kind in the country.  Join us on Veterans Day for a repeat LLAIC visit to this museum.
"The Museum of World War II is a sacred mission to preserve the lives and heroic actions of all those people who fought on the battle fronts and home fronts to destroy the evil of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan."

Since becoming a non-profit organization a few years ago, the museum is already a remarkable showplace. Its mission calls for emphasizing realities, and it does so through the collection and display of everything from posters to guns; actual enigma machines to toy soldiers; uniforms and correspondence. Even a personal possession of Adolf Hitler which is small but which says volumes.  Since last year there have been some adjustments to the displays, and a small room dedicated to Japan before the war has been added.
Unlike most museums which say "Do not touch," this museum says "Touch". You can touch everything that is not behind glass. For example: press the keys on an enigma machine or sound a portable air raid siren used to warn the citizens of England.  Virtually everything is real - no replicas.  Norman Rockwell posters; planning maps; George Patton's battle helmet; orders to drop the atomic bomb; weapons and bullets.  If the item is not behind glass, handle it if you wish - handguns to a Sherman tank.  All real.  All used in war.
The museum is tightly organized and follows a chronology: from Japan before the war to Germany in the 20's to the rise of the Nazis to early battles to depictions of the resistance and a small but powerful Holocaust section.  And on to the end, the collapse of Germany and Japan and the war trials in Nuremburg and the Pacific. Visit the Museum's website here.

    Friday, December 2 - Davis Art Museum and the Margaret Ferguson Greenhouses

The Davis Art Museum at Wellesley College is reinstalling its permanent collection in October.  The visit will also include the Margaret Ferguson Greenhouses.  By December we'll be ready for a visit to a greenhouse!

    Monday, September 26 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

    Wednesday, August 10 - Peabody Essex Museum
"American Impressionist:  Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals" exhibit

     Tuesday, July 26 - Day trip to the Isle of Shoals, NH

    Thursday, June 23:  Day trip to historic Lowell
For a preview visit: Lowell Information.

Once the industrial innovative hub of America, Lowell has undergone many transformations over the years.  Join us for a day to revisit Lowell's fascinating history.

We'll start the day near the Visitors Center, then take a trolley ride to the textile mill and experience the "roar of a weave room".  After this will be a tour of where the "mill girls" were housed.
" 'She has worked in a factory' is sufficient to damn to infamy the most worthy and virtuous girl." This is the start of an article in The Lowell Offering, December, 1840, in defense of the women who did most of the work in Lowell's textile mills.

Lunch will be at Cobblestone's Restaurant near city hall. A 90-minute canal tour of Lowell's waterways will round out the day. Cost for this event is still being determined.

     Monday, June 6, 11:30 - 3:00:  The Third Annual LLAIC Picnic in the Park

Please join us for The Third Annual LLAIC Picnic at Cochituate State Park, Route 30, Natick. It's a wonderful way to get to know your LLAIC colleagues better in  beautiful, peaceful surroundings.  Please bring your lunch and something to share.  For more information contact Phyllis Cohen

    Wednesday, May 25, 10:15 - 3:00.  Day Trip to Museum of Fine Arts

Let's visit the MFA before these two short-stay exhibits leave in June and July:
  • Lawren Harris,  The Idea of North (Exhibit curated by Steve Martin).
  • Mega Cities: Gund Gallery, Shapiro Courtyard and other locations inside and outside the museum.  (We'll be staying onsite.)
We will meet at the Sharf Visitors center at 10:15 and proceed to the American Wing to start with Lawren Harris at 10:30 am.

Lawren Harris is a renowned artist of the outdoors in Canada who is little known in the US.  His beautiful paintings of nature, the Canadian mountains and winters are very special.  On exhibit in the American wing.  In an adjacent gallery are works of Americans and others to be compared - Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley among others.

After lunch in the cafeteria, we can move to the MegaCities exhibit in the Gund Gallery.

Exhibits are free with admission.  SPECIAL:  Take a picture with Choi Jeong Haw's "Fruit Tree" at Marketplace Center near Faneuil Hall and receive a free admission to the MFA.  See http://www.mfa.org/visit/fruit-tree-go-free.

    Wednesday, March 30, 10:00 - 12:30:  MIT Museum
265 Mass. Ave, Cambridge

Join us for an adventure filled with learning and fun at the MIT Museum. Admission fee for senior citizens is $5 (to be collected at the museum) while MIT alumni and a guest are admitted free.

Our visit will be followed by lunch at Asgard's Irish Pub and Restaurant at 350 Mass. Ave. a short 1/10th of a mile walk from the Museum.

There are currently over 700 exhibitions which span cutting-edge science, technology, and art.  Most of these exhibitions are interactive so that we can "learn by doing."  The exhibitions available during our visit will include:
  • Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT. Here we'll meet Kismet, the world's first sociable robot!
  • Holography: Dimensions of Light and Images of Discovery
  • Communicating Science through Photography
  • Gestural Engineering-witty and ingenious kinetic sculptures by artist Arthur Ganson
  • Building MIT in Cambridge: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of MIT moving from Boston to Cambridge, this exhibition portrays an exciting era in the history of the Institute.

Kismet, interactive robot
(click to see video)
Transportation, Parking, and Accessibility
The Museum is accessible via the MBTA Red Line which stops at Central Square on Mass Ave. in Cambridge. The walking distance between the T Stop and the Museum is 3/10th of a mile.
For those who prefer to drive, the Franklin St. Garage, located at 55 Franklin St, is a short block from the museum.
Once registered, participants will receive a follow-up email with more details, a list of other participants with their contact information to facilitate car sharing, and a liability waiver to sign.
The Museum is wheelchair accessible.

    Wednesday, March 23, 10:00 - 12:30:  Islamic Center of Boston
126 Boston Post Rd, Wayland, MA 01778

At the suggestion of some LLAIC members, Your Let's Go team has arranged an interactive orientation visit to a mosque very close to Temple Shir Tikva.  The Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland which is right on Route 20, has a congregation of about 300 families, and on special days welcomes about 1000 people to pray.  The Center is a cooperative organization, managed by volunteers.

The group has an active outreach program and is happy to host our group.  We have discussed a visit that will include an orientation tour, then a series of speakers who will address specific topics.  There will be a Q&A after each presentation and at the end of the session.  More detail will be published in The Quill as we finalize the details.  There are subjects the mosque finds valuable in its outreach, and our contact has asked us to provide topics our members want to hear about. The visit will conclude with refreshments.

Ample parking is available on the location.  Check out the website, particularly the "Outreach" section at  http://www.icbwayland.org/

    Thursday, Feb. 25 - Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Andover Academy

Lunch reservations have been confirmed and all those who signed up should have received a confirming email Friday.  If you have not, or if you have been meaning to sign up and haven’t gotten around to it, call immediately:  Nancy Feldman, (617-332-5977) or via email at nofeldman@hotmail.com, or Joanne Tuck (617-969-5334) or email jwtuck1@verizon.net.

The Addison Gallery of American Art has one of the most important collections of American art in the country. Our visit will include a special exhibit from their collection, a rich source of works by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Edward Hopper - among many others.  

In addition, there is another exhibition of interest:  Walls and Beams, Rooms and Dreams: Images of Home and Laurie Simmons: In and Around the House. Visit the website at www.andover.edu/museums/addison.

We shall meet at the Gallery at 10:15 a.m., tour the museum then walk the short distance across the green to the Samuels restaurant for lunch.  Those who choose may return to the Gallery after lunch.

The Addison Gallery is handicapped accessible.  There is no admission fee but donations are appreciated.

    January 18-26, 2016Come to Cuba with LLAIC ! 
Our own small deluxe group tour strictly for LLIAC. Travel to Cuba with your LLAIC family. Lots of sightseeing, excellent privately owned restaurants, hotels that are the very best and much much more.  For details, click on the Trip Brochure, Terms and Conditions, and the Registration Form.

This is a trip of a lifetime, filled with the sights, the sounds, the taste, the touch, the feel of the music that reaches out to you.  This trip is fully booked.

Thursday, January 14: Kennedy Libraries Tour:
Join your LLAIC friends to visit the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Museum and the Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (EMK) Institute on Thursday, January 14. These museums are located on the campus of UMass Boston.

Activities at both museums include visiting the many exhibits via self-directed tours. EMK attractions also include a film depicting congressional sessions and interactive role playing.

We will meet at the JFK lobby at 10:00 a.m. Fee for the JFK is $10.00 and for the EMK it is $8.00. We plan to spend the morning at JFK, eat lunch at the EMK cafe and then spend the afternoon visiting the EMK.
Parking is free (handicap parking available).

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Updated Sept 1, 2017

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